Philodendron ‘Varigated Thai Sunrise’ Care Guide (2022)

sunrise philo

The Thai Sunrise Philodendron is easily recognized for its shiny elongated leaves adorned with dark to a lime green pattern. With this attribute and the absolute rarity, the Thai Sunrise plant is no doubt becoming in demand recently. It certainly makes for a perfect houseplant that can effortlessly brighten up any space!

Scientific NamePhilodendron ‘Thai Sunrise’
Common NamePhilodendron sunrise; Philodendron ‘thai sunrise’; Variegated Thai sunrise
LightBright indirect sunlight to medium shade
WateringWeekly, water if the top half of the soil is dry
Temperature60ºF to 75ºF (16ºC and 24ºC)
Hardiness ZoneUSA hardiness zones 9 to 11
Humidity>50%
Soil TypeRich in OM, quick-draining, loamy
Soil pHAcidic to Neutral (pH 5.0 to 7.0)
FertilizingA balanced feed once a month in spring and summer
RepottingOnce a year; when the plant has doubled 
PruningBeginning of the growing season; scattered growth
PropagationStem cuttings
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
Mature Size2.5 to 9 feet
Bloom TimeLate spring, early summer

What’s Unique About Thai Sunrise Philodendron?

The rarity of the Thai sunrise philodendron plant is owed to its striking shiny leaves that can span up to 10 inches long. The vivid appearance of the plant is highlighted through its unique lime green pattern and pale green to almost yellow stems. Enabling it to stand out from other members of the Philo genus. 

Native to subtropical regions, they are considered among the rarest philodendrons there is. Often growing under bright shade of higher tropical plants, they adore a fairly humid environment and a substrate rich in organic matter. However, despite their seemingly exotic attributes, you can easily grow the Thai sunrise philodendron plants indoors. 

Thai Sunrise Philodendron Care

Thai sunrise philodendron plant care involves the use of a rich and well-draining soil mix, the maintenance of indoor temperatures between 60ºF to 75ºF (16 and 24ºC), a high humidity level of at least 50%, and the provision of a balanced fertilizer during the growing season (at least once a month). Below is an in-depth guide to help you become more acquainted with Thai Sunrise care!

Light 

When it comes to Thai sunrise philodendron light requirements, it’s important to note that the plant needs an adequate amount of bright filtered light. Consider where the plant would usually grow – which is under a dappled shade mid-level canopy. This makes it quite susceptible to damage that may be caused by intense light conditions, particularly of prolonged full sun exposure.  

Thai Sunrise light needs are critical in maintaining the elegant colors of the plant’s leaves. Too intense light may cause the variegations to revert to green which may result in the loss of the plant’s distinct color patterns.  

Pro tip: It is best to  place your Thai sunrise philodendron near an east or west window. This will ensure that plant receives adequate yet soft intense rays of the sun. 

Watering 

The Thai sunrise philodendron watering is greatly influenced by the current condition surrounding the plant. During summer and spring, it is recommended to water Thai Sunrise with lukewarm water once every two weeks and reduce it during winter to at least twice a month. 

Pro tip: The most efficient method to determine the watering needs of your Thai sunrise plant is to stick your index finger at about an inch or two, to see if the soil is already dry to the touch. As with most philodendron plants, it is important to avoid overwatering in order to prevent the occurrence of root rotting. 

Temperature 

Thai sunrise philodendron temperature range sits between 60ºF to 75ºF (16 to 24ºC), but it can withstand as lower as 50ºF, hence, exhibiting a little bit of a low-temperature tolerance. In USA hardiness zones 9 to 11, the plant may be grown all year round either indoor or indoors, without too much of a fuss. 

Pro tip: In meeting the ideal temperature for Thai Sunrise, it’s important to avoid exposing the plant to extreme weather conditions and cold drafts as these may cause freezing injury. Similarly, keep the plant away from extreme heat for this may scorch its delicate set of foliage.  

Humidity 

Given the environment from which the plant originates, the ideal humidity for Thai Sunrise should be relatively higher. Hence, the Thai sunrise philodendron humidity requirements tend to exceed 50%, although it is quite forgiving to humidity levels lower than 50%. 

Pro tip: In order to maintain the Thai sunrise plant’s vibrant foliage, you may try to maintain a higher humidity level through weekly spraying of the leaves with lukewarm water; use of a humidifier; or setting up a pebble spray. However, do not overdo it because a humidity higher than the optimum may also increase the incidence of pests and diseases. 

Soil 

As mentioned, the ideal Thai sunrise philodendron soil is rich in organic matter, well-draining but able to retain adequate moisture. To create your own soil for Thai Sunrise, mix an equal proportion of garden soil, peat moss, and sand. This will ensure a rich, textured soil mix in which the plant can easily thrive. Other substrates that you can add include vermicasts, charcoal, and perlite. 

Similar to most philodendrons, the ph level for Thai Sunrise is from acidic to neutral (pH 5.0 to 7.0). Nevertheless, if you are a newbie, it may be practical to buy a commercial ready-soil which are often used for growing cacti, orchid, and succulents. 

Fertilizer 

Aside from the amendments mentioned above, feeding the plant with a balanced fertilizer ratio ensures optimum foliage formation and growth. Thus, it is recommended that Thai sunrise philodendron fertilizer is given at least once a month, particularly during spring through fall. 

A liquid feed of balanced NPK (20-20-20) may be used as fertilizer for Thai Sunrise. Commercially bought fertilizers intended for foliage plants also work just fine. Yet it is important to avoid overfertilizing the plant as this does more harm than good. Also, do not rely on cheaper ones as this may affect soil nutrient availability as well as the plant’s metabolism. 

Potting & Repotting 

Thai sunrise philodendron repotting is usually done once a year or once it has doubled its size. While it is not easily root-bound, it is best to repot the plant once roots have already begun protruding from the base of the plant. 

Pro tip: When repotting Thai Sunrise, be sure to use a pot that is twice the original pot size. Use a fresh potting mix and fill the new pot with half of the soil. Carefully place the plant in the center and then fill the pot with the remaining soil. Water as needed and place it under bright filtered light. 

Pruning 

Thai sunrise philodendron pruning is only usually done when the plant is having a rather scattered appearance and is already taking up too much space. Yet it may also be a good treatment when the plant is showing symptoms of a disease. 

Pro tip: When cutting Thai Sunrise, always use a sterile pruning shear or knife. Start from the base of the plant as this is where the old leaves reside. Trim only the spent leaves and stems and do not cut beyond 25% of the plant’s foliage. Pruning of the Thai sunrise philodendron is usually done in the spring or fall.    

Propagation 

The most convenient and the most common means of Thai sunrise philodendron propagation is through the use of stem cuttings. Look for a stem with medium thickness and cut at about 0.5 to 1 inch below the node. To effectively propagate thai sunrise, remove some leaves from the cuttings and retain at least 3 to 4 leaves. 

Afterward, you may place the cuttings into a glass or any transparent container with lukewarm water. Do not allow any leaves to touch the water and be sure to replace them every 3-5 days. 

Note: At about 3 to 4 weeks, roots may begin to form. Once the roots have grown to at least 3 inches long, you may now plant the cuttings into a fresh growing medium. 

Also, make sure to check out our in-depth heartleaf Philodendron plant care guide.

Common Problems of Thai Sunrise Philodendron

Some of the most prevalent Thai sunrise philodendron problems are attributed to improper cultural management. For example, waterlogging can cause the roots to rot and thus exhibit symptoms such as yellowing of the leaves and decay of other plant tissues. Read on further for some measures to counteract growing problems with Thai Sunrise. 

Pests 

The most common Thai sunrise philodendron pests are the feeding type, which is often found on the underside of the leaves and stems. If not removed immediately, they may literally suck the life out of your Thai Sunrise plant by feeding through its nutrients. Severe form of infestation not only leads to physiological damage but more importantly to morphological injury – causing disruption of photosynthesis and overall growth function. 

These common insect pests that may affect your plant are spider mites, scale bugs, and aphids. Some of the most efficient ways to treat them are by simply washing the leaves with running water. It may also be beneficial to regularly wipe the leaves off with rubbing alcohol or with the use of horticultural oil such as neem oil and citronella. 

Diseases 

While the plant is quite hardy to varying growth conditions, Thai sunrise philodendron diseases may still occur, particularly those of bacterial and fungal infection. 

Root rotting, which is often caused by waterlogging, is a notorious plant killer. Hence, overwatering should be avoided at all costs. A rotting root system amplifies the activity of pathogens that can cause a decrease in growth and foliage development of Thai Sunrise. Other symptoms that may occur are yellowing of the leaves and decaying of the stems and other plant tissues.  

Moreover, bacterial leaf spot is easily recognized through a series of tiny water-soaked areas which may expand if remained untreated. The use of citronella and neem oil also proves to be effective in naturally combatting these feeding insects. 

Growing Problems 

While growing Thai sunrise philodendron is said to be relatively easy, it may still require some TLC. However, with proper cultural management, having to tend to a sick plant may be kept from happening. 

Hence, growing problems may be avoided by observing proper schedule of watering, giving the plants the right balance of fertilizer, allowing them to grow under bright shaded conditions, and by maintaining optimum temperature and humidity. 

Also, regularly wiping the leaves of your Thai sunrise philodendron with warm water and alcohol can help prevent the proliferation of insect pests that may feed on the plant’s delicate foliage. 

Toxicity of Thai Sunrise Philodendron

Sadly, all species belonging to the Philodendron genus are considered toxic to both humans and animals. This is attributed to the calcium oxalate crystals found in almost every segment of the Thai sunrise plant. Further below are a more in-depth guide to help you be equipped with regard to the toxicity of this tropical charmer. 

For Humans 

The Thai sunrise philodendron contains calcium oxalate crystals which are needle-like compounds that can pierce through humans’ sensitive tissues, particularly when ingested. Hence, the plant should be grown with great precaution, especially indoors. 

If ingested in large amounts, some of the symptoms that may occur are diarrhea, skin and mouth blisters, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and difficulty swallowing. 

Small children are at risk, hence, the plant should be placed on elevated spots such as windowsills, countertops, and cabinets. If any of these symptoms occur, you should immediately seek medical attention or call your local poison hotline. 

For Pets 

If you have a lot of furry friends around the house, you may want to reconsider growing the Thai sunrise plant indoors. It is difficult to consistently monitor pets, hence, it may be best to grow the plant outside to prevent intoxication. 

Some of the symptoms that may occur in animals (if they have ingested the plant) are blood in urine and stool, blisters in the skin and mouth, loss of appetite, pawing of the face, and restlessness. 

If any of these symptoms occur, you should immediately bring your pet to the vet or call your local pet poison hotline. 

Thai Sunrise Philodendron Appearance

Thai sunrise philodendron appearance is characterized by its majestic set of leaves with dark and lime green patterns. Due to this attribute, the plant is extensively grown both as an indoor and a garden specimen.  Listed below are the most distinctive features of the plant and why it has been considered among the rarest philodendron in the market.  

Foliage 

The foliage of Thai sunrise philodendron is arguably the most distinct feature of the plant. If you happen to stumble across the plant in your local market, you cannot simply ignore its gorgeous set of leaves. The shiny texture of each elongated leaf, which can expand up to 10 inches long, is highlighted with dark and lime green patternd and green to yellowish stems. 

Pro tip: Make it a habit to regularly wipe the leaves of your Thai sunrise philodendron to maintain vibrance and prevent the occurrence of feeding insects. Also, ensure that the plant receives adequate amount of light as this is crucial in maintaining the plant’s striking variegation. 

Flowering 

As a foliage plant, the occurrence of Thai sunrise philodendron flowering is quite rare in cultivation. However, given the right condition for maturity and a peak period of about 16 years, the blooming period may occur from May to July.

Further, it is expected that the Thai Sunrise flower is similar to other Philo varieties which consists of a spadix and a spathe. The spathe is a sheath bract that encloses the spadix which comes in a tubular structure containing minute male and female flowers. 

Since most philodendrons do not have the typical flowers found in other flowering plants, this is, therefore, the least recognized feature of this plant. 

Size and Growth 

Having a relatively fast growth rate, the size of Thai sunrise philodendron ranges from 2.5 to 3 feet – some may even grow up to 9 feet. With the optimum conditions, the vines may accelerate up to 2 inches per week. If given a balanced fertilizer during the growing season, the plant may grow faster and deliberately expand throughout summer and spring.   

Pruning is a good practice to maximize the growth potential of your Thai sunrise philodendron. By trimming spent leaves and foliage, you can redirect the utilization of assimilates to new growth and shoots. It is also a proven effective way to prevent the spread of any infection. 

Thai Sunrise Philodendron Fragrance

There is varying information regarding the Thai sunrise philodendron fragrance, others generally point to how most philodendron species have a fragrant bloom, while some reports indicate that the Thai sunrise has no distinct scent. 

Nevertheless, there are certain smells that any growers should be mindful of. For example, root rotting caused by waterlogging can cause extensive decay in the root system. This may later emit an unpleasant odor which is often perceived from the base of the plant. Bacterial leaf rot can also release an obnoxious smell from decaying leaf portions. Thus, pruning is employed to prevent the spread of any infection. 

Suggested Uses for Thai Sunrise Philodendron

Other than raising this tropical beaut indoors as a houseplant. The Thai sunrise philodendron would also look ravishing as an addition to other ornamental plants in your garden. With a great vining potential, the plant can also climb with a support of a trellis or pole, making them an ideal wall element. 

Given the right growing condition, such as a fair level of humidity, optimum temperature, proper schedule of the watering cycle, adequate exposure to bright filtered light, and a balanced feed, the Thai sunrise philodendron makes for a perfect specimen for brightening up spaces as well as inviting that fresh tropical vibe. 

FAQ

What is Thai sunrise philodendron?

Thai sunrise philodendron is a rare species of Philodendron that’s popular for its dark and lime green leaf variegation. It belongs to the climbing type of Philodendron. 

How to identify Thai sunrise philodendron?

Thai sunrise philodendron has elongated leaves containing a pattern of dark and light shades of green. These leaves have a silky texture when touched and they’re attached to a yellow stem.

How to care for Thai sunrise philodendron?

Despite being rare, this plant is easy to care for. Just provide the right growing conditions such as bright, indirect light, warm temperature, high humidity, and well-draining soil mix.

How to grow Thai sunrise philodendron indoors?

Provide a bright but diffused light when grown indoors. The best location would be east or west-facing window. A south-facing window will also do but make sure to put it a few feet away.

How to grow Thai sunrise philodendron outdoors?

Find a shady location outdoors so your plant won’t suffer from leaf scorching or sunburn. Avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures that are below 50oF (10oC).

How fast does Thai sunrise philodendron grow?

Thai sunrise philodendron is a fast-growing houseplant species. If you take and plant cuttings, it will develop its own roots in 10 days or so.

How tall does Thai sunrise philodendron grow? 

A mature Thai sunrise philodendron plant can grow up to 3 meters high. The elongated leaves can also grow from 7 to 10 inches long. 

How to make Thai sunrise philodendron grow faster? 

Bright light helps the plant create more food for itself. Hence, they could grow faster and more vibrant when there is ample light source available.

How to stake Thai sunrise philodendron? 

Prepare a stake that is slightly higher than the plant’s height. Securely tie the stems to the stake but make sure it isn’t too tight.

How to pot Thai sunrise philodendron? 

Choose a pot size that’s 1 to 2 inches bigger than the diameter of the plant’s root ball. At the bottom, layer gravel for good drainage before you fill in with potting soil.

How to revive Thai sunrise philodendron? 

An unhealthy-looking plant is probably suffering from stress. Investigate first what the source of stress is. It could be light, water, temperature, or humidity among others. From there, make adjustments to the growing conditions.

Why is my Thai sunrise philodendron dying?

Root rot is the common culprit behind a dying philodendron. Check the roots and see if they’re rotting. Trim down diseased portions then repot to a new container.

Why is my Thai sunrise philodendron drooping?

It may be due to temperature stress, too cold or too hot. It may also be caused by overwatering or underwatering. Some philodendrons also droop from lack of humidity.

How cold can Thai sunrise philodendron tolerate? 

Do not allow the plant to sit at a temperature below 50ºF as this predisposes it to freeze injury. Temperatures lower and higher than the optimum hamper any plants’ physiological functioning. 

How to get rid of pests on Thai sunrise philodendron? 

Some of the best ways to get rid of feeding insects are through regular wiping of the leaves and the use of horticultural oils such as neem oil and citronella. 

Is Thai sunrise philodendron toxic to cats? 

Yes. The Thai sunrise philodendron is toxic to cats due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in almost every part of the plant. If ingested, it can harm sensitive tissues and cause a severe form of irritation. 

Is Thai sunrise philodendron toxic to dogs? 

Yes. The Thai sunrise philodendron is toxic to dogs. Calcium oxalate crystals, which if ingested in large amounts, can cause symptoms like blood in urine/stool, loss of appetite, and restlessness. 

Is Thai sunrise philodendron toxic to children? 

Yes. The Thai sunrise philodendron is equally toxic to  both children and adults. If the plant was ingested, some of the symptoms that may occur include diarrhea, vomiting, skin and mouth blisters, and nausea. 

Is Thai sunrise philodendron toxic to humans? 

Yes. The Thai sunrise philodendron is toxic to humans. This is due to the calcium oxalate crystals than are proven harmful to the body, especially if ingested in large amounts. 

Does Thai sunrise philodendron have a scent? 

The Thai sunrise philodendron has no distinct smell. Although there are smells that may signal an impending disease such as root rot and bacterial leaf spot.

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